Gameloft somehow seems to squeeze more out of a mobile phone than most other developers. With Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, it continues that pattern, showing the most impressive console-to-mobile port we've seen to date.
Just like in the console and PC versions, you are Sam Fisher. Ex-CIA, ex-Navy Seal, you've been recruited by the National Security Agency to carry out missions too sensitive for the US government to officially sanction. Through six levels and more than three difficulty settings, you've got to avoid mines, swing over pits, climb and jump over obstacles, dodge lasers, and, of course, sneak past or terminate guards all in pursuit of various shady objectives.
Unlike the console and PC versions, the mobile game (which I played on the Motorola T720) is not a one-shot-one-kill kind of game. You can take a couple of bullets and a mine explosion before dying. The mobile version's puzzles aren't nearly as complex as those in the bigger games. This is a platformer, not a 3D world, so missions are very linear and your objectives are usually lying right on the ground. In the mobile game, guards aren't very bright. Standing on a box just above the guard's eyes yields you complete invisibility.
However, Gameloft has packed the most important stuff into mobile Splinter Cell. Sam's movement, whether he's crouching, swinging, or drawing his gun, is smooth and detailed. The lighting of each screen and each level is crucial to consider if you want to finish the game with the highest rating. And killing, while always an option, is not the point of this game. The most fun parts of the game are when you duck into a doorway and then you emerge as a guard passes and put a sleeper hold on him from behind. It's also fun to drop from high platforms onto a guard patrolling below.
The levels are remarkably varied (again, for the wireless platform), and the graphics on the Motorola T720 are consistently impressive. The oil rig level is brilliant orange after the first underground missions.
With only six missions, it's hard to imagine how long a game like this could hold your attention. Consider that each mission takes between two and 20 minutes on the easiest setting. Harder difficulty levels give guards more body armor, let them call in alarms, and allow them to crouch down and fire at you. Add those challenges to the implicit goal of avoiding detection throughout the mission, and there's a lot of gameplay to be had. This is one of those rare titles where the developers considered everything. Splinter Cell for the Motorola T720 is the best console-to-mobile port yet.